Feasting on Cupcakes: A Photo Tour of Lyndell’s Bakery

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One of my favorite things in the world is to get up early on a Saturday morning and go cupcake shopping.

(I mean, what better way to start a day?) This means heading to Lyndell’s Bakery in Somerville’s Ball Square.

Established in 1887, Lyndell’s is one of the oldest bakeries in New England—and one of the best, as far as I’m concerned. It’s one of those old-fashioned bakeries that’s managed to remain blissfully old-fashioned, despite changing hands a couple of times over the years.

The place is a feast for the eyes and the senses. The gleaming pastry cases. The machine that wraps boxes in string. The racks of soft rolls, breads, and colorful cookies. The pies, jelly rolls, and custom-decorated cakes. The handmade pastries, eclairs, and cannolis. The fresh doughnuts and the cupcakes with creamy frosting, piled high.

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

I remember clearly when I first heard about Lyndell’s. It was years ago, shortly after The Angry Chef and I first started dating. His birthday was coming up, and I asked him—baker that I am—what kind of cake I might make.

His response? “Please don’t be offended, dear Mouse, but I’d like a cake from Lyndell’s.”

He was so quick and decisive with this that I almost didn’t even have time to be shocked. A bakery cake? As in, a cake from a bakery? When I’m offering to make you one? Really?

Really.

He went on to tell me how some of his fondest birthdays involved cakes from Lyndell’s, ever since he was an Angry Young Chef. He described the many different types of cupcakes. He went on about the different, creamy frosting and cake combinations in detail.

Okay, I conceded. I know how vivid and touching food memories can be. I have at least a handful of those, myself. Lyndell’s cake it would be.

Let me tell you: The cake didn’t disappoint. And neither will anything else they sell. I practically guarantee it.

Lyndell’s Bakery: A Photo Tour

Here’s a photo tour of their shop and some of their goodies. If you’re ever in the area, you should definitely stop in for a cupcake—or three.

Lyndell’s is located in Somerville’s quirky Ball Square, which is also home to Kelly’s Diner, a two-piece silver dining car, Soundbites restaurant, and Stinky’s Kittens and Doggies, Too pet groomers. Sometime soon, I’ll do a more complete foodie photo tour of our neck of the woods.

You can’t miss their prominent sign when you drive down Broadway.

Their windows are lined with displays of cakes.

They make a lot of whimsical movie- and character-based cakes. Here are some you might see if you press your nose up against the glass.

They also make more traditional cakes.

And of course, this wouldn’t be Boston without a Red Sox cake.

A Photo Tour of Lyndell’s Bakery: But the real magic happens when you go inside

The shop itself is pretty big, and is lined on three sides with bakery cases. Behind the counter, rows of shelves are loaded with an enticing array of cookies, breads, and pies.

Big bakers racks across part of the front window hold boxes of cookies and coffee cakes. They also have a few small, convenient displays of birthday candles and cards so you can pick up any last-minute thing you may have forgotten.

I always notice the doughnuts first. There are sugar-coated jelly, Boston-creme, powdered-sugar-coated jelly, and glazed.

They also have a bunch of different fruit danish and pastries.

 

A smaller case holds a handful of cakes, including this one, studded with dark and light chocolate chips.

If you need a cake in a hurry, this one is already packed and ready to travel.

The front case also had this gorgeous coconut-covered cake.

Lyndell’s is one of the only places I can readily think of where you can still get an old-timey jelly roll, dusted in powdered sugar.

And some mouthwatering, chocolate-covered cookies.

A case on the opposite side of the shop holds a handful of Italian and other specialties, including these chocolate-dipped cannolis and traditional cannolis dusted with powdered sugar.

There are miniature tarts and cakes.

They also sell full-sized and miniature eclairs.

And then there are the cupcakes. I almost never leave without at least 6. If The Angry Chef is with me, we’re lucky if 2 make it into the house.

We went right before Halloween, so they still had some seasonal, spooky goodies in the case.

They also sell these black-and-white beauties.

And yummy-looking turnovers.

The front windows are lined with racks that are stacked with fresh coffee cakes, tea breads, soft rolls, and containers of cookies.

A Photo Tour of Lyndell’s Bakery: So what did we walk out with?

This trip yielded fairly conservative booty: 4 cupcakes, 2 mini eclairs, and a half a dozen toffee-chip cookies.

These cookies are buttery and crisp, with just a little bit of a crunch from pieces of toffee.

2 mini eclairs and 4 chocolate cupcakes.

Among other things, Lyndell’s is famous in the area for their rich, creamy frosting.

For more information on Lyndell’s, check out Boston.com’s article and fabulous slideshow which ran late last year, when the bakery celebrated its 120th anniversary. You can also see what the Yelpers are saying, and keep an eye on Lyndell’s website, scheduled to go live early in 2009.

Go have a nibble

Lyndell’s Bakery
720 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 625-1793

Digg!

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Copyright 2008 The Hungry Mouse/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

26 COMMENTS

  1. wow! that's really cool :D You must have spent alot of time inside the store taking pics :P what is that last one with the chocolate topping n the custard inside, it looks so yummy!
  2. Thirty years ago when I was dating Warren he was living in Somerville. We used to go to Lyndell's. Thanks for the memory. Now I need to go back to Boston just for Lyndell's cupcake... and donuts and coconut cake.
  3. Awww, thanks guys! Kang--Thanks, hon! The last photo is the inside of a mini eclair. HoneyB--Yes, yes! Open a bakery! Gosh, wouldn't that be the life... Kian--Gosh, it's a small world. The Angry Chef has lived here for most of his (almost) 40 years, and he says it hasn't changed one bit since he can remember. Wish stuff would keep. I'd send you a box of goodies. :D (If you do make it up here, do drop me a note!) +Jessie
  4. Those are amazing cakes! I think we'll have to take a trip to Somerville one morning to try this place out. For folks who like Donuts and don't mind making a trek to the North Sububs, Kane's Donuts in Saugus is pretty great as well. But certainly not as large and without the truly breathtaking cakes.
  5. Darn it. Why don't we ever have bakeries like that here? On second thought, luckily we don't have bakeries like that here...after ogling at all these pictures, I feel a choc cake emergency coming up right now.
  6. Hi Jessie, I have nearby a similar old-fashioned bakery but not with these amazing cupcakes and cakes. I've increased weight after seeing these stunning photos!!:)
  7. Oh my I am jealous! We used to have a local bakery in my small town that I grew up with. I can remember my Mom stopping there on our way home from running errands, and us savoring sweets on the ride home. When I moved away from home, and into the "big" city, I never found a bakery quite the same - and let's face it - grocery store bakeries do not cut it. When I moved back to my home town a few years ago I was able to enjoy some of tasty treats of the "Judy Jane Bakery" for a short period of time before they went out of business. Those few trips I was able to make, always buying my childhood favorite pastries of course, brought back so many memories of time with my Mom. Now, the building has been turned into a Starbucks (what else?). Thank you for sharing this post. Just looking at your images brought back some of those memories!
  8. How lucky you are! Those are the most beautiful baked goods I've seen in a long time. I think I would be there every Saturday morning, picking up one of everything. Thanks for the photo feast. My head is spinning! I love the cake with the chocolate chips. I want to make my own right now!!!
  9. wow. everything looks so delicious! i wish i had a bakery by me like that. i would go everyday and eat just about everything. haha thanks for the tour!
  10. I am so jealous. I miss Northern bakeries. Down here in TX it is impossible to find a good full-service bakery with a decent selection of sweets. I want to move back up to the civilized North.
  11. I just found this post on tastespotting.com. I am dragging my husband into the city this weekend. I used to work in Medford and I had heard about Lyndell's but never got there. Thanks for tempting me into a drive to the city.

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